What You Need To Know About Buying Elvis Memorabilia Through Ebay

  1. Just because something is listed for sale on Ebay does not mean that it is authentic. Ebay does not engage in policing of items listed to make sure that they are authentic. Complaining to them that a seller is consistently selling reproduction or counterfeit items will be ignored. They will only become involved in instances where a trademark is being violated.
  2. While a seller with a large number of positive feedback is a positive indicator, do not let your guard done because of it. The only thing that a spotless Ebay record really proves is that the seller always ships the merchandise and it arrives in the condition that the buyer expected. There are two sellers on Ebay that have several hundred positive feedbacks, with an overall positive of nearly 100%, who are regularly selling what are in my opinion are reproduction Elvis picture sleeves and bonus photos.
  3. Make sure you carefully read the entire listing description, as well as looking that the photo. I have been burned a couple of times by looking at the photos that come up in a search result and completely reviewing the text. The result was an item that was not what I expected, but was technically as described in the listing.
  4. Ask if the photo(s) in the listing are of the actual item that the seller has for sale or they photos of a "identical item."
  5. Ask to see photos of both the front and back of paper items. This can provide a clue as to whether or not something is a reproduction, or maybe even clipped from a magazine.
  6. If the item comes with a letter of authenticity, ask to see it before bidding. Even after seeing it, do not rely completely on the fact that the existence of a letter guarantees that an item is real. Continue to investigate. Also ask whether or not you will be receiving the original letter or a copy. A copy will not carry nearly as much weight with someone you may resell the item to as an original will.
  7. Look at the seller's return policy. Ebay now requires sellers to list their return policy. If a seller has a no return policy, I would question why. If they do allow returns, clarify with them what the return policy is. Will they except returns no matter what the reason, or only if they agree with you that the item was not as described in their listing.
  8. Ebay does have a program in which you can file a complaint and attempt to receive a refund for merchandise never received. Please be aware that you have 45 days from the day that you pay for the auction to file a complaint. If you wait longer than 45 days, Ebay will not take any action. I have experience one seller who i know believe intentionally kept telling me that my package was in the mail, until the 45 day time limit expired.
  9. If you pay for your purchase through Pay Pal, which is owned by Ebay, you may file a complaint through them, rather than going through E-bay. As soon as you file a complaint, pay Pal will place a hold on the funds in the seller's account. there are two steps to the Pay Pal process. You first file what they term a Dispute. This is meant to give you and the seller time to work things out. If you and the seller can not come to a resolution, you then may file a Claim. if you fail to file a claim within 20 days of filing a dispute, you forfeit your Pay pal will close the case and find in favor of the seller. If you do file a timely claim Pay Pal will investigate and will make a decision in favor of the buyer or the seller. if you do use Pay Pal, I recommend using your credit card through ten rather than allowing them to debit your bank account or your pay pal balance if you have one. This will provide you with an extra level of protection, as you could file a complaint with your credit card company if you lose your Pay Pal dispute.
  10. Make certain to review the shipping charges prior to bidding. Nothing is more frustrating than buying a small item for a couple of dollars, and paying 5 times that amount for shipping. Unfortunately, some Ebay sellers look at shipping as another profit center. Realize though, that the seller does have some costs beyond the raw postage, such as packing materials.
  11. Be aware that if you pay by check or money order outside of the Ebay check-out or Pay Pal systems, Ebay will not get involved if you have a dispute with the seller. This includes failure to receive your item.
  12. Insist that delivery confirmation is used on all of your purchases. That way, there can be no dispute as to whether or not you received an item. You should also use delivery confirmation if you should have to return an item to the seller.
  13. Be specific for how you would like your item to be packed. I am amazed at how often fragile items are shipped with no padding or bubble wrap, and paper items are shipped in an envelope with no cardboard to prevent bending. Agree to pay the extra dollar in shipping that it will take for the seller to use a little bigger box than is really needed for extra protection.
  14. Ebay is in my opinion the worst place to buy Elvis Presley autographs. I am not saying that none of them are real. However, in my opinion, the fakes outnumber the authentic by 100 to 1, and that is probably generous.